Tag Archives: March

My Top 5 Favorite Manga (As of March 2023)

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations


Between last year and this year, my interest in talking about manga has gone up quite a bit. Part of that comes from wanting to diversify my media diet a bit and experience more of what there is to offer when it comes to art. The other part comes from the fact that, well, there’s been a lot of great manga coming out in the last few years. Because of that, this list skews pretty heavily toward more recent stuff.

Normally I would do a top 10 list for this sort of thing, like with my most recent anime and anime opening posts, respectively. However, while I have consumed a significant amount more manga than before, there are not really 10 series about which I feel particularly strongly. Thus, doing five makes a bit more sense. That being said, let’s get into it.

HM: Tokyo Ghoul

Regardless of the anime adaptation, which still is not that bad, the Tokyo Ghoul manga is a great piece of fiction. It has a great cast of characters who each shine through in their own way, whether as an ally of Kaneki or as an enemy in the larger ghoul world. The interplay between the focus on Kaneki as well as on the investigator team also lends a bit more perspective to the storytelling in what might be an otherwise one-note manga. The art also looks really damn, so that helps. However, given how long it has been since reading it, putting it any higher would probably be wrong.

5. Chainsaw Man

Another series that blends action and gore incredibly well, Chainsaw Man absolutely deserves a spot on this list. Denji alone is an infinitely fascinating character. On top of that, though, the various devils introduced throughout the series along with their range of power levels really shows a sense of creativity when it comes to the power system. Though my bias absolutely leans more toward part one, even part two has been adding some uniqueness to the universe which is greatly appreciated. This series is one of the primary drivers of my return to manga, and for that, I am definitely grateful.

4. The Flowers of Evil

Named after Charles Baudelaire’s influential collection of poetry, The Flowers of Evil is a strange series. It starts out with a middle schooler stealing his crush’s gym clothes and quickly escalates into an insane psychological journey, one that ultimately ends up scaring Kasuga for life. It ends up being one of the weirdest and yet strangely engaging works I have read to date, with themes of sexuality and self-identity being pushed to the forefront.

3. Blue Flag

Gay romance…that’s it, that’s the thought. I was initially skeptical about how this series would handle the subject matter, but it ended up being one of the most heartfelt romance series this side of shonen manga. Sure, there are parts that feel a bit drawn out and maybe could have been less wordy. But, it is still a slow burn with a lot of passion and an ending that will genuinely make people cry. At just around 50 chapters it is short enough that people could binge it in a day. A perfect length

2. My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness

It is very rare that anime turns towards the realm of autobiography, which makes My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness, along with Kabi Nagata’s other works, a breath of fresh air. The illustrations are fairly simple, but it only adds to the style, one that emphasizes her character’s anxiety about the various situations she finds herself in. Queer representation in manga can be fairly hit or miss, so it is nice to have this as a prime example of how good it can be.

1. Goodbye, Eri

Tatsuki Fujimoto gets two entries. Normally I would limit it to be otherwise, but this one-shot is honestly just too damn important. Great pacing, amazing paneling, and a layered set-up that could rival even some of the most historically important tragedies, hitting hardest when one would least expect. I can still count on two hands the number of media that have made me cry, but Goodbye, Eri is definitely at the top, of that list and this one.

What are some of your favorite manga right now? Let me know down in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

As always, special thanks to Jenn for supporting the blog on Patreon.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!


OWLS April “Hope” Post: When the World is in Crisis, Why Not Laugh?

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

This month on OWLS, our theme has to do with the virus known as COVID-19 that has greatly affected the world recently: Hope

We are in the midst of a pandemic which has led people to live in fear and anxiety over the coronavirus. For this month, rather than seeing the dark side of the situation we are living in, we will be exploring anime and other pop culture mediums that bring hope for humanity and why they have such a positive impact on us.

As always, be sure to check out some of the posts from my fellow OWLS members Megan and Lita as well.

With that said, enjoy the post.

I do not think it is at all an exaggeration to say that the world is in crisis right now. The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused mass panic, spurred on by a flurry of misinformation and fear of poverty and starvation. This in turn has lead to hoarding of important medical supplies and food.

What is worse, in a time when political trust in institutions is already at an all time low, our leaders have failed to provide necessary relief, and in some cases have actively impeded attempts to get said relief. The severity of the situation is beginning to rival even events such as Word War Two, and it seems like there is little to be hopeful about. All the more reason then to…*checks notes*…laugh?

In times of extreme discomfort, pain, and worry, it can be incredibly easy to give into our bleakest of feelings and spend all of our time depressed. However, it is exactly because of these feelings that people should be occupying their time by with things that make them feel good. More specifically, comedy.


If social media apps such as Tic Tok and Twitter have made one thing clear, its that many are predisposed to responding to negative feelings like fear and awkwardness with laughter, and that makes sense. Laughter is naturally elevating process. Not only does it make the person doing it feel good, but one someone else is laughing, it makes other feel like they should be too.

Anime also has a lot of great comedy. I talked a while ago on KawaiiPaperPandas about Asobi Asobase, a comedy anime that focuses on the strange antics of a club of high school girls. Each of the girls seems innocent at first, especially in the opening for the show. However, as it turns, each of them is pretty vulgar and mean-spirited.

Normally I would say this show is not for everyone, and to be honest that still might be the case. However, given the situation the world is in right, this kind of over the top, raunchy humor might be just the thing to lift up someone’s spirits.

“Dog and Scissors” is another show in this vein, although with a much different plot. After being killed in a cafe, high school student Kazuhito is reborn as the pet dog of his favorite author, only to find out that she is pretty much a sadist. While it is not as consistently funny as a show like “Asobi Asobase,” “Dog and Scissors” does manage to knock enough absurdist jokes that make it worth watching at least the first few episodes.

Romance is another genre that often pairs well with comedy, and one of my favorite Rom-Coms, “Lovely Complex,” also happens to be incredibly funny. The show tells the story of Koizumi and Ootani, two high school students who to their friends are known as a comedy duo, but who, as it turns out, have feelings for each other.


One might point out that a lot of the comedy in the show could come off as one dimensional, given that a lot of the jokes in the show revolve around their height, and the fact that Ootani does not realize Koizumi like him until pretty late in the series. In fairness, this is not an unreasonable criticism.

I would however argue to things. One is that I think a lot of the cliched jokes in the show are fairly justified given that both are shown to be socially unintelligent in a number of ways. Another is a point I echoed earlier. Given the situation going on right now, and a heightened sense of awareness about friends and loved ones, I think a lot of the show’s core message will resonate, and the comedy by effect will shine through.

I also know that, like myself, many people go through periods of anime burnout, where they simply do not want to watch anything anime related. In that case, stand up comedy is a great place to get a lot of good laughs. A good place to find a lot of stand up comedy right now is Netflix.

Over the past couple of years, Netflix, at least in the U.S., has built a pretty impressive library of comedy specials. A few comedians who stand out are Ally Wong, whose stories about her marriage and personally life are always incredibly funny, and Trevor Noah, whose backstory makes him incredibly interesting to listen to.

As for comedy movies, well… I got nothing there, sorry.

Whatever it is, Now more than ever is a time to be laughing. Is is not healthy, both mentally and physically, to keep those fears and worries bottled up. So, keep watching the news, and stay informed. Those are also important, but make sure to keep yourself laughing so that it does not get your health down.

Everyone reading this is awesome, and I hope all of you are staying safe. What have you guys been doing to pass the time? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!